Blog from Kristy Engel….

Philippians 2:4 says, “Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others.” (emphasis mine)

I have preached on this verse several times and admit that it often feels like I’m banging my head upon a wall when I look at our world today. Call me naïve or blind or just plain obtuse, but I believe that people want to be good and do good for others. I continue to have a Pollyanna view of people, I know, and my frustration arises when I have seen the good works (and words) of some and then I see the exact opposite from those same folks in the next moment.

 Why is it so hard for us to maintain a positive, loving, gracious attitude towards others? Why does selfishness so often win out over sacrifice?

When I consider all the hurt and pain in our world, my heart breaks and, admittedly, I am confused as to why the hearts of all Christians don’t break. I don’t pretend that I see everything, but what I do see should spur us on to action. Is Christian charity and love only for a few?

I won’t dwell on all the reasons why I think the hearts of many Christians have moved away from the admonition of Paul in this verse. Suffice it to say, I believe many choose the “wisdom” of man and not the wisdom of God.

Did you know:

  1.     Worldwide, 3.1 million children die from undernutrition every year? (Yet, Matthew 25:35-40 says we are to feed the hungry)
  2.     There are 3,200 homeless in Atlanta alone and 580,466 in the USA? (Yet, Isaiah 58 talks of providing for the homeless poor)
  3.     Every year, almost 40,000 Americans die from firearms, 70,630 Americans die from overdoses and every 40 seconds, someone commits suicide in the world? (Yet Christians speak of the sanctity of life)

I am not trying to make any political statement with the above figures, I simply want to contrast what many Christians say they believe with what is actually happening in our world. This is not a judgment and I certainly see areas of my own life that need to be better but friends…ALL of us need to do better.

The work of the Church is to care for everyone. To love everyone. To minister to everyone. If you choose to call yourself a Christian you do NOT also get to choose to ignore the hurt in our world or leave the caring to someone else. There is no distinction in the Bible between which Christians are called to serve. We all are.

I am proud of the work of Parkway Baptist Church and its commitment to serve in our community and the world. I have been the recipient of a lot of love and care since joining the church and I’m very grateful for the love I’ve been shown. But I believe we can do more. I believe that each of us can use the gifts and talents we’ve been given to further alleviate hurt, pain, suffering, and injustice in our world. Not because a politician says we should or should not. Not because our neighbors or friends will think more highly of us. Not because we feel pressured or bullied into seeing the need around us.

We should care for our world and our global neighbors because that’s what Jesus asks of us.

Where will you choose to serve? Whom will you choose to see? What need of another will you care for?

If I have learned anything from my travels around the world, it is that there is no shortage of people who need a cool glass of water or a helping hand or simply to be seen. The shortage is in those who choose to act.